Cling Wrap

clingy (Source)

Houston, we have a problem with lift off.

Wait, that sounds like my husband has, ehem, personal issues. He doesn’t. I’m not talking about this.

Anyways….

What I mean is, my MIL is showing a side to her that I didn’t know about.

I have loved my MIL from the beginning.

She welcomed me into her house with open arms. She’s very funny. Her and I have enjoyed many drinks together. She took me out for my first drink when I turned 21. She was there for me when I was a little homesick. I was at her house when I was told my grandma probably wouldn’t make it through the night. Mr. A was out of town on a work retreat, so she let me stay at her house so I wasn’t by myself. She’s helped to take care of me when I was sick. She would also just give me a gatorade and some advil when we came over and I was obviously “under the weather”. She’d laugh and say, “It happens to all of us.” We’ve girl talked. Gone to chick flicks together so the boys didn’t have to.

She’s bought me things. She’s spoiled me rotten. She’s loved having a girl to shop for Christmas and she’s gone above and beyond what she should.

I have always liked her a lot. In my mom’s speech at rehearsal dinner, she even thanked her for everything she did when my mom was too far away to help.

So you see, going into this marriage, I was so excited, and even bragged about how lucky I was to have in laws I liked so much.

Ummm….things may have changed.

I’ve mentioned this before, but until a couple months ago, Mr. A had always lived within a 5 minute drive of her.

He went to college in the same town he grew up in. He got his MBA at the same school. 23 years and he has never not lived in his hometown.

Anyone see the problem that is developing?

She won’t leave us alone.

It’s not obvious. She doesn’t call constantly, but when he calls, she’ll say, “I just don’t want to bother you..” She may not mean to, but it sounds like she’s trying to get sympathy and it annoys me to no end.

I receive “I miss you guys” text messages. I e-mailed her about when the family Thanksgiving would be, and it turned into this drawn out thing.

She made food and froze it for us the last time she came to visit. I truly appreciate it. I use about one a week- gives me one night that I don’t have to cook a meal and give me a break from my new cooking hobby. She asked if we needed more and seemed hurt when I told her that we still had some of each. Yes each. She made four different types of food and lots of servings of each.

Yes, she’s helping financially. She’s paying Mr. A’s car payments right now and has offered to help in the future if we need it. I’m praying we don’t need it.

And then today happened.

Tomorrow, we are headed to Mr. A’s hometown because his best friend’s, his best man at our wedding, surprise birthday party is this weekend. More precisely, tomorrow night. By chance, Mr. A’s afternoon class was cancelled for tomorrow, so we get to leave at noon. That puts us in Mtown around 2. We’re not meeting up with our friends till about 5 to go to the lake house, so we have some free time. Also, we are planning on staying at my MIL’s so we don’t have to drive the whole way back after being out with our friends all night.

Mr. A calls his mom today to let her know and all that. We figured we would stop by her office when we got into town to say hello and all that. Probably have breakfast with her Saturday morning before lunch with the FIL and heading back home.

This is her girls’ golf getaway weekend.

They are leaving tomorrow at noon and will be gone till Sunday.

Okay. No big deal. We were there last weekend and it probably wouldn’t be long before we were back there again. I mean, all through undergrad, it wasn’t uncommon for me to go a month before seeing my parents. By the time we go to my hometown, it will have been a month.

But guess what? I’m an adult. Shocking, I know. But I am.

Even more? I’m married. To a great and wonderful man who is also an adult and fully capable of taking care of himself and me.

She got all panicked that she wasn’t going to be there. She even tried to see if the other girls would be willing to skip their golf game tomorrow so that they could leave later so that she could see us. REALLY?

Like rational human beings, her friends said no since they had already paid for tomorrow’s tee time.

Her solution?

She’s coming up here one night next week to see us.

……………………………………………………………

Am I the only one bothered by this???

Not only does this mess up my meal planning for next week, that I’ve already done, but then I feel obligated to clean the apartment, look nice enough to go out to dinner, and act like I couldn’t be happier to have my MIL insist on coming to visit.

Last weekend, my mom came down on Saturday and took me to Macy’s because she had an awesome coupon that would get me a $100 dress that was on sale for around $32. We shopped. Mr. A studied. She offered to buy us lunch, and then she went on her happy way home. I was the one that called to see if she had a coupon and I was either going to drive up to get it or she was willing to come down.

She was at the apartment no more than 20 minutes and got me out of the apartment so Mr. A could study.

Somehow, I see the difference between these.

Also, I tweeted a little while back about being nervous and anxious about figuring out how to divide up Christmas now that we’re married. My dad’s side does Christmas Eve together and then my brother and I would go to my mom’s for Christmas morning. Both Mr. A and I did Christmas morning with our moms, and then we would alternate years as to who drove to who Christmas day afternoon. That way, we both had our mornings with our mom and then we saw each other later in the day.

His family doesn’t do anything on Christmas Eve, and I was nervous about my dad’s response to us only being there every other year. (My dad’s side gets weird about people not being at family functions and they don’t always take into consideration other family obligations.

I have talked at length with my mom about alternating years for Christmas, but who to skip first.

My mom’s response: “You guys do whatever works. I will be willing to do our Christmas either before or after. You guys are married so you have to decide. If you think your dad will be most upset, then go to Mr. A’s family this year. That way your dad gets used to the idea of you not always being there.”

My mom has always wanted what was best for us and, as her mom never did, she doesn’t put pressure to visit or be there. She’s always excited and happy to see us, but she knows we’re busy.

MIL’s response: “Well, I guess switching years is fine. I sure will hate it when you’re not here. Maybe you can drive back down Christmas day afternoon like you have in the past!”

Lady, if it’s my family’s year for Christmas, I’m not leaving early. The same as when it’s Mr. A’s family- we will spend all Christmas there and arrange something with mine for another date.

*****

I’m putting it to you. Am I looking at this wrong or is she being pushy and a little clingy? She writes on both of our Facebook walls about her missing us. Does your MIL do things like this? What do I do??

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10 Comments

Filed under Life After College, Normal Family?

10 responses to “Cling Wrap

  1. In my situation, it’s not my mother-in-law but my father-in-law who is the clingy one. He calls or texts his son several times a day, just to check in or talk about sports. He’s a very kind and loving man, but he can be smothery.

    You’re not wrong to feel that way at all – I think adjusting to new family can be extremely difficult. I’ve seen the problems that my parents had throughout their marriage because my dad’s family was the all-in-your-business, won’t-let-my-son-grow-up type. I think it’s important to stand your ground, set boundaries and then, if all else fails, just move a few hours farther away. 😉

    Hope it gets better!

    • Well, when he graduates, we’re planning on moving back to my hometown because it has so many opportunities for both of our careers, which is 3 hours away from her and she has said that when her husband retires, then she would probably be willing to move there. WHAT?!?!?!

  2. Jamie

    Hmm. Well. I could add a lot to this, probably more via email lol. We have a similar thing with both our mothers and my dad. They are wonderful, but omg, we don’t have 2 hours a day to spend on the phone. That’s pretty easy to solve though- don’t pick up, politely email or text saying that you can’t talk. When we lived closer to his family, it was more of an issue. Now we live across the country and have been/will be seeing everyone 1-2x/year. It’s easy. We like it.

    I think the thing that worked for us when we lived there was to draw boundaries. Yes, it’s nice to get together. No, it’s not reasonable to expect that it will happen every weekend. Sometimes after work I want my man, a glass of wine and a movie, not family time.

    To that end, though, it’s a hard line to walk. You need to set boundaries without permanently altering the relationship. Yes, sometimes we have had moments where his mom is NOT happy with us. But it passes. We haven’t done anything that hurts her in a serious or long-term way, just little things to establish that we are, in fact, adults with our own agendas. It sounds overly simplistic but I guess that’s what it boils down to.

    I still struggle with it though. We love them, we want to have strong relationships with them. But we also want our own lives. For us, living away is the only way to do that. I hope that someday we will move back closer to his mom, my mom or my dad (they are all in different states) and that having this time apart will hopefully have established that we can (AND WILL) do our own thing. But I don’t know.

  3. Sarah

    I wish I could offer some awesome advice here…but B’s parents hate me. (His dad has called me “stupid” on a couple of occasions and his mom went so far as to tell him that if he proposed, she’d cut him off financially.) While she definitely does sound clingy, be glad you have in-laws who like you! Other than that, just set up boundaries. Smile and pretend like you’re thrilled when she comes up this week and be conveniently busy the next few times she wants to come around. Hopefully she’ll realize that her son is an adult and start to respect the life that the two of you are creating for yourselves.

    Actually, his mom sounds a lot like my dad’s mom…maybe it’s a mother-of-a-son thing?!

    • hislittlewife09

      I just stumbled across your blog a few days ago. This post made me feel so relieved! You could be describing my MIL. I don’t think you’re response is wrong at all. Start establishing boundaries and family traditions now, I think it only gets harder after you’ve done it a certain way once. And just make sure when you’re setting boundaries that you are doing it based on what works best for you and your husband, and not just out of annoyance. Good luck!!

      • Well, welcome! This is such a strange situation for us, but it does help that the husband agrees with the situation and knows his mom needs to back off some. We’re trying to figure out how to set the boundaries, but we definitely know we need them!

  4. Meredith

    Set those boundaries now while you still can fairly easily. At least then you’ll set a precedent and in a few years (or maybe in just 1 year) everyone will know your plans and you won’t be getting any guilt because of it. Its just what you always do, and that’s that.

  5. Ugh, I hate these kind of family issues. I think your MIL is dealing with her son not living nearby anymore. I find it odd that she needed to change her tee time or drive up to see you on another date. That’s imposing on your schedule and I find it strange.

    With Christmas – gosh, I remember talking to you on Twitter about this one and it’s SO TOUGH. It’s even harder since your parents are divorced and you have to split up even more. IMHO, you’re right to stick to your guns and not leave early from one side to visit the other. Everyone gets their full time and then you move on to the next.

    My advice is to make a decision (switch years, visit everyone each year, whatever) and STICK TO IT. You’re a family now and you and husband have to make decisions for your family. You’ll be fine however you decide to split the time!

  6. Joanne

    After 25 years with my MIL, I have learned a few things the hard way and some a little easier. I will tell you that any discussions about boundaries needs to come from her son, not you. That could make it worse. Set up some type of schedule. My husband and I reserved the first Sunday of the month for his family and the third Sunday for mine. You may not have that much time right now (law school) but specified days may help the situation.

    Holidays – my cousin has a situation like yours. Divorced parents and lots of splitting of time. She came up with a solution that has worked for years in her family. Odd years they spend the actual day of Thanksgiving with his family (both sets of parents-just different days) and Christmas with her family.

    Try to not build resentment toward your MIL or any parent as this can bring strife/stress into your marriage. Your husband is a son that loves his mother…never forget or respect that.

    • I completely understand it’s his mom and we both love her. It’s not that. Also, he will definitely be the one to have any sort of conversation with her. Not me. I know better than to put myself into that position. There are also other issues, I believe, adding to her neediness. My BIL’s problems and failures, her mom passing away, and with her husband’s promotion came him working 2-11pm everyday, therefore not being around much. I think it’s a mother-son thing. Thank you for the advice though.

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